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Laguna3D chip versions questions?

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First post, by 386SX

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Hello,

I'm testing the early mostly problematic late PCI, early AGP 3D accelerators and I think I might look for the Laguna3D, and I've seen there were different revisions of the chip itself, some with heatsink, others not.. is there something to know about this, any major differences? I know it's not going to perform well but I'm interested again in those "worst" video cards period. For example the "C" late revision of the chip from vintage3d site I read was for motherboard integration but does it mean it might have different specifications?
(Too bad I also had in the past the Alliance AT3D but not anymore probably lost patience during tests I don't remember. 😁)

Thanks

Reply 1 of 24, by 386SX

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From some readings around it seems like there're not many info of the C version while the HC part of the code name is the commercial package. The 2D core seems operating at the similar freqs of the older 2D cores so quite high compared to some other competitors with lower freqs, I suppose is the same for the 3D engine clocks.

Reply 2 of 24, by The Serpent Rider

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PCI and AGP had different chips. PCI had horrible performance both in 2D and 3D.

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Reply 3 of 24, by 386SX

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I suppose PCI was the GD5464 version of the chip serie (?) if I read correctly specs but maybe also the 5465 had PCI compatibility. Anyway I've read on vintage3d review that the card had problem with much known Quake based engine games, was it solved somehow? Did anyone try some tweak to make texturing work correctly?

Reply 4 of 24, by LubieCipy

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Hi,

I think GD5464 was only in PCI cards whereas GD5465 was in both PCI and AGP cards. Fastest card should have 600 MHz memory but mine have 544, 515 and even 458 MHz 😉 I've tried to overclock fastest one but after 660 MHz card hangs. Gunman Chronicles and Half-Life are not displayed correctly, lots of grey textures.

How to check the chip revision?

Reply 6 of 24, by LubieCipy

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That's all i have. Unfortunately last chip is from not working PCI card ;( I did not tried any tweaks but I think the problem is with the Quake engine

https://imgur.com/a/Dn2mVZy

Reply 7 of 24, by 386SX

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So the first three are clearly C revisions and the last an A revision manufactured the year before. I don't know if the C is as usually expected a better core as most later revision IC but if these chips were becoming oriented to mainboard integration I wonder if they are the same cores of the previous B and A revisions or there might be (just asking myself) ipotethically a "power saving" version of it, I don't know what did change on these chip revisions.
I think I've found a Rev. C based card on those late low profile cheap cards and sounds like they were becoming oriented already to a low end market considering the competition back then. Also like the Riva 128 it's interesting to see few cards having the heatsink others not which might be cause a better chip revision didn't need it or some running at higher freqs who knows.

For Quake I hoped someone found some driver tweak or game engine tweak to make some of those game engine based titles running correctly, but I suppose only a driver upgrade would have solved that. It's interesting that beside the chip speed, slow cards like the Rage IIC based ones received drivers upgrade up the middle 1999 and most games even if slow are correctly accelerated as tested even Unreal Tournament, Half Life, Thief 1 and 2 games, 3DMark2000. Too bad many of these cards probably with some more driver upgrades would have improved a lot. The Rage Pro received drivers until the 2002. 😀

Reply 8 of 24, by LubieCipy

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Latest 2.0 driver is dated on 99-12-28 and 1.7 is dated 98-03-06. At least that's what dxdiag says.

What do you think about upgrading Laguna3D cards with extra memory? Some of them have for more ram. Is it possible?

Reply 9 of 24, by 386SX

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I suppose the other users might say more about it cause I don't know much about memory upgrades on this. From what I think I've understood reading it looks like the memory upgrade was a "future" thing but at the end from a period/frame rate/costs point of view (I imagine) it wasn't an useful option even if it might have much increased the already wide bandwidth but I'm not sure the chip itself was enabled to simply add that to the unused rambus memory line. My opinion is that like many other cards of that time the real problem beside futuristic features or whatever new way to render early 3D enviroments, was the driver support that needed much testing and fast releases even after the possible new hw solution that might have been released later.

Reply 10 of 24, by acl

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Hi

386SX wrote on 2022-01-11, 10:33:

From some readings around it seems like there're not many info of the C version while the HC part of the code name is the commercial package. The 2D core seems operating at the similar freqs of the older 2D cores so quite high compared to some other competitors with lower freqs, I suppose is the same for the 3D engine clocks.

Not sure if it's relevant, i have a CL-GD5465-HC-C (see pictures).
Is it from the "rev C" version you're looking for ?
I can try to run some tests if you need. I used the card a couple of time. So i know it's working. But... well... Unreal wasn't really silky smooth on it 😁
I have a couple of AGP systems (W98se and XP). Just let me know.

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Reply 11 of 24, by 386SX

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Interesting card, yes that's a Rev. C chip like a similar one I think I've found locally; it'd be interesting to post how it's detected by softwares/drivers/PowerStrip on clock frequencies, benchmark results in Win98, to compare this Rev. with the results already visible in the great reviews around. Also it'd be interesting to know if the chip itself when benchmarked reach an high temperature or stays cold to understand why some had heatsink and others not (more or less like the SiS 6326 had in various versions). 😀

And what about Quake based games? Did they maybe solved something on this last Rev. or still having the same textures problems? (Half Life, Quake 1/2, Thief 1/2 etc..).

Reply 13 of 24, by 386SX

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I imagine that is a possibility but sometimes they were also needed, like the Riva 128. The PCI version I have (not even the AGP), Diamond brand, without heatsink reach quite high temps without one maybe not from the working specifications point of view but one of those cases where different cards used it or not I suppose for a reason. I wonder if the last Rev. itself changed its working temperature ranges maybe if later version decreased it by newer process tech or core design or changed its speed for a lower end lower power target (mainboards or whatever). Also cause for many of these low end PCB manufacturers an heatsink might have meant costs but maybe they were so low that it didn't matter adding a thin one. 😀

Reply 14 of 24, by The Serpent Rider

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The most hot component on these cards is RDRAM memory. Early revisions had additional placement on PCB for 2Mb RAM for future more powerful pin compatible chips, but it was quickly scrapped.

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Reply 15 of 24, by 386SX

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I didn't know those module ran at high temps considering the period. I think I read somewhere the GD5465 had only one channel of Rambus enabled and the other was for future versions but I think on a different chip and possibly on the same PCB layout. It was interesting to see how the theorical 1,3Gbyte/s bandwidth would have improved something or not. 😉
Sometimes I think that drivers has been one of the most underestimated part of so many good products or potentially good at least on paper. Stability, speed, rendering errors, hw compatibility, etc.. it took quite some time to see drivers not being such classic factor for a success or a failure.

Reply 16 of 24, by The Serpent Rider

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Laguna 3D performance is severely limited by bilinear filtering, which slices performance almost in half. And that's on more polished AGP version.

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Reply 17 of 24, by 386SX

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Interesting! But even if I imagine some driver support for their "last video card" might not probably be something to be expected, it's strange that such experienced companies didn't improve at least what they could on the rendering side. For example the long criticized Rage 2c at the end did have its rendering accuracy like any accelerator should be expected to result in, beside at which frame rate. It tooks (too) much time of course same for the Rage Pro but 3D cards couldn't live without optimized drivers or at least some miniGL that addressed some problems in the most important game, the one that make 3dfx fortune. At the end miniGL possibility was quite an opportunity to overcome OpenGL problems if full drivers weren't ready in groundbreaking games like GLQuake.

Reply 18 of 24, by acl

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386SX wrote on 2022-01-12, 12:33:

Interesting card, yes that's a Rev. C chip like a similar one I think I've found locally; it'd be interesting to post how it's detected by softwares/drivers/PowerStrip on clock frequencies, benchmark results in Win98, to compare this Rev. with the results already visible in the great reviews around. Also it'd be interesting to know if the chip itself when benchmarked reach an high temperature or stays cold to understand why some had heatsink and others not (more or less like the SiS 6326 had in various versions). 😀

And what about Quake based games? Did they maybe solved something on this last Rev. or still having the same textures problems? (Half Life, Quake 1/2, Thief 1/2 etc..).

I will try to have a look (maybe this evening but not sure).
I have a bunch of recently obtained cards that i need to test. So i will run the Laguna3D along with them and take some captures.

Reply 19 of 24, by 386SX

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😉 I should receive the Blade 3D soon to test and after I'm going to look for others "slow" cards too, I'm not sure on the next might be the Laguna or the previous Trident 975 or the i 740.

I always found interesting these alternative video cards. In the past I had lot of them already tested, nowdays not anymore (beside still have the fast cards of those times) but I think I'll begin again this video card passion. 😀